Washington Post publisher: 'Corrosive' to liken unfavorable news to 'fake news'

Washington Post publisher: 'Corrosive' to liken unfavorable news to 'fake news'
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The publisher of The Washington Post is speaking out against claims about "fake new" from President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE and others, saying that comparing unflattering news to fake news is "corrosive" to the country.

Fred Ryan wrote in a Post op-ed published Friday that journalists are the targets of “calculated attacks” that are “conducted by people who would prefer to wield power free from accountability and out of the public eye.”

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“That truth might not always be what a leader wants to hear. But there is an enormous difference between ‘unfavorable news’ and ‘fake news.’ It is wrong to conflate them. Doing so is an attack on the truth — and it is corrosive to our democracy,” he wrote.

Ryan noted that there have always been tensions between members of the media and politicians but that hostilities have skyrocketed under Trump, who has dubbed mainstream outlets as the “enemy” of the people, a phrase Ryan says “crosses a line.”

“When the president uses these words, it is dangerous and reckless. He should stop labeling his fellow citizens as ‘enemies’ immediately — before it leads to physical harm to innocent Americans,” he wrote.

“He, and leaders across the globe, must understand that journalists are not ‘enemies of the people.’ They are servants of the people — and of the democratic principles that empower the people,” Ryan added.

Trump has had a notoriously acrimonious relationship with the press since he launched his campaign, lambasting a bevy of mainstream media outlets that publish unflattering stories about him as peddlers of “fake news.”

The Washington Post has been a favorite target of the White House, with Trump dubbing it the “Amazon Washington Post” after it was purchased by Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: Amazon alleges Trump interfered in Pentagon contract to hurt Bezos | Federal council warns Trump of cyber threats to infrastructure | China to remove foreign technology from government offices Overnight Defense: Bombshell report reveals officials misled public over progress in Afghanistan | Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' in Pentagon contract decision | House Judiciary holds final impeachment hearing Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' to influence Pentagon contract decision MORE, whom he regularly criticizes.